It’s Clear to See: Offering Dental and Vision Insurance is Good for Business

While the Affordable Care Act set specific requirements for business owners to offer health insurance to their employees, it didn’t say those plans needed to include dental or vision care for adults. But even though you won’t get charged a penalty for skipping on dental and vision insurance for your employees, it’s still a smart choice to offer them for a well-rounded package. By having a comprehensive benefits package, which includes vision and dental, your company will appear more attractive to talented candidates. Plus, poor vision and oral health can take a toll on productivity. Vision disorders alone account for more than $8 billion in lost productivity each year, impacting your business and the health of your employees.

And there’s another factor many business owners may not be prepared for: By 2020, 25 percent of the workforce will be comprised of people who are over the age of 55. While age comes with wisdom and experience, it also comes with a higher risk for vision or dental concerns (individuals over the age of 65 account for 30 percent of all vision impairments). Vision and dental health are a large concern for aging employees:

  • Vision issues affecting older employees: More often than not, older people need prescription eyeglasses—two-thirds of Americans rely on prescriptions to see clearly. In addition to needing eyeglasses, they may encounter diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Regular visits to the eye doctor can help prevent or detect these diseases early, lessening the burden in the long run.
  • Dental issues affecting older employees: Tooth decay over time is inevitable—even if you take good care of your teeth. Gum recession, swelling and decay are all problems that arise as you age. A decrease in oral health can also indicate serious other health conditions such as diabetes. Offering dental insurance early on can help create healthy dental habits for the future.

These are just some of the reasons why it is more important than ever for employers to offer vision and dental insurance to protect the health and well-being of their employees. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan offers different vision and dental insurance plans to fit your company’s budget and needs. For more information on Blue Vision and Blue Dental, visit here or contact your agent.

About the author: Kevin P. Stutler is vice president of Enterprise Ancillary Business for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. His responsibilities include development and execution of strategies for all ancillary products within the Commercial Business division, and positioning Blue Cross to expand these products and services to better serve the Michigan market. Stutler has held a number of leadership roles prior to joining the Blue Cross in 2011. He was the regional vice president of Specialty Sales & Distribution at WellPoint, Inc., and senior vice president of Financial Institutions/Group at American United Life Insurance Company. Stutler earned his bachelor’s degree in history from The Ohio State University.

 

Photo credit: National Eye Institute

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